The Doctor (Troughton) finds himself in 18th Century Scotland in the midst of the Battle of Culloden in this week’s trip in the TARDIS.
The Highlanders, the last, purely historical story to be featured in the series was written by Elwyn Jones and Gerry Davis. This four-parter aired from 17 December 1966 through to 7 January, 1967. It also saw the introduction of a new companion for the Doctor in Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines).
The Doctor, with Ben (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Wills) in tow, find themselves caught up in the battle, and coming to the aid of an injured Scottish laird, Colin McLaren (Donald Bisset) and his traveling party, including Jamie. When the English arrive and capture them, the Doctor, putting on a German accent, cites the rules of war, and complains that his government must be notified first. He claims his name is Doktor Von Wer, or Doctor Who. Cheeky.
He also spends the length of at least one episode in drag as he disguises himself as an old woman. Other fun moments feature him swapping out his hat again, tells Jamie he would like to learn to play the bagpipes, and he is quick with his remarks. It’s very obvious that this Doctor’s regeneration is incredibly different from his predecessor, and Troughton Doctor seems to delight in having a lot of fun.
The group is separated throughout the adventure, each of them with their own tales to tell. As the story progresses, we see Scots clash with the English, Ben gets locked in a prison cell that has a very high water mark on the wall, and Polly does her best to elude capture. There are slavers, blackmail, and all manner of excitement filling this episode.
Reconstructed as much as possible from audio recordings and set photographs, this story, thanks to Troughton’s joyous performance just rockets along. He’s playing the Doctor as very clever, very sly, and quite admittedly a coward on occasion, and he really doesn’t care who knows it.
So far this has been a great season, and I’m highly enjoying my time with Troughton, and looking forward to getting to the stories that still have the film intact, because I can’t wait to actually see his Doctor in action. I mean, if I’m enjoying his Doctor this much right now, and all I can see are pictures and here his voice, things will no doubt be even more amazing when I can actually see him in action!
He’s quickly becoming a favorite Doctor!
Next week, he and his companions will find themselves in Atlantis.